Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chinese take second! Elves finish next to last...

He-who-must-not-be-named and I fought a battle a few days ago. He brought his Night Elves up against Jack Burton's friends. The mighty Imperial Army features cannons, rocket batteries, imperial guards on giant pandas, and then the ubiquitous rabble.... Those aberrations of humanity, those purple skinned demons had trained lizards, dragonlings, and sorcerers galore. They are truly evil to align themselves with dragons. Had the Emperor's advisors told him of these accursed lizard lovers, then he'd have invited his allies from the land of the Rising Sun and their grav board riding Samurai to deal with all those pesky fliers. I mean to get rid of the traitorous eunuchs at court and provide more learned scholars to assist His Imperial Majesty in the future. Then we can regain our lost lands...

Once again, we used the Fantasy Cards system. It works. It's quick. It keeps my anxiety level high. We're still figuring out certain card combinations and unit abilities in situations... but it seems that fliers might be underpriced and overpowered. One Chinese Wind Spirit was no match for the multiple Elven Dragonriders... they attacked at will and kept my artillery continually shaken. Yes, that's a part of the game, but next time I'll take three fliers, then he'll take four, then I'll take five... and we'll have an escalating fantasy Cold War all over again. In fact, if I take over half of my force in fliers, then it'll be almost impossible for he-who-may-never-be-named to win! I'm sure we can break this system if we work hard enough, but so far it's been fun.

One small gripe... I downloaded the game system for free and I bought the cards separately and downloaded them. Now to protect their cards from being stoeln in the free download of the rules, the cards are not mentioned nor are their terms defined anywhere in the basic rules... nor is there a list of definitions that comes with the cards. I've found all the answers that I need, but sometimes I've had to read through the rules, read the faq, the reference sheet, and then read through the cards themselves to resolve an issue... and that's slightly tedious. For example, units that are shaken or out of action cannot have actions nor situations played upon them, but what about confused units? During our game, we had to stop and read the rules, the faq, the reference sheet, and finally the card with the confusion situation on it in order to figure out that an action can be played upon a confused unit... but a situation can not.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

True Confessions

If nerdcrush is not a word in the gaming lexicon, then I'm officially creating it.

nerdcrush: noun: an infatuation by a gamer upon the quality of work by another gamer.

The object of my nerdcrush is Spacejacker. His blog, Tiny Solitary Soldiers, is dedicated towards 15mm tabletop gaming... mostly sci-fi. I just love his painting ability... especially since I've started photographing my own 15's.

As soon as I figure out how to figure out the parameters of the pics allowed on this blog and then how to crop my pics, I'll post them here. I really want to show them to my fellow posters over on the GRRM forum of The Chronicles Network. If you've read my entry, Pardon me, what was I saying?, then you already know of my existing nerdcrush upon George Martin.

[For Pete's sake! This guy is now linking his own stuff. What an ego!]


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Azeal... HotDAMN!!!

Well, I started the draft for the last post and walked away from the computer for seven hours to eat, watch The Tudors, paint Blood Bowl figs, and to talk to He-who-will-not-post. So I just typed a few words and clicked "Publish Post". Imagine my surprise upon seeing Azeal's post. HotDAMN!!!

Okay, so my battle with Azeal was a lot of fun. My mythological Greeks versus Azeal's Chaos Demons. Azeal commanded the middle hill and we both ended up putting the bulk of our troops on the opposite sides of the table from where each of us were sitting... I was staring straight into the eyes of my brave Achaeans. Each of us quickly dealt with the lone stragglers separated from our armies. Azeal's large Demon and Giant Spider frightened my Centaurs off the field and then proceeded to chase my Elephants across the field. Suffice it to say, that the Demons were butchering the Greeks until the Spider and the Demon found themselves overextended and in range of my bolt thrower. Both the Spider and the Demon were forced off the table due to sheer firepower. Technically the Greeks won, but only one of the Demons' five units off the field were actually defeated in combat... the others were forced or frightened off. On the flip side, of the Greeks' five units off the board, only one was frightened away... the others were slaughtered upon the field.

A few more victories like that and I'll win Worst General of the Year.

Sincerely, Boaz

Hot Pockets... HotDAMN!!!

Well, I suppose I should continue with my thoughts on Tatcical Assault: Fantasy Cards since I don't have to work today.

Soooo, He-who-can-not-be-named and I have played one game, Azeal and I have played one game, and Azeal and He-who-can-not-be-named have played four games. They should really be the ones giving their opinions at this point.

First, FC keeps each player constantly involved. Some games have one side move everything, do all magic, shoot, and do all combat which leaves virtually nothing for the other player to do for fifteen minutes or more. (I think this is why Mountain Dew and Hot Pockets were invented... Jim Gaffigan? Anyone?) By incorporating situations on every card, FC allows the nonactive player to have the ability to play as much as, or even more than, the active player. If you zone out during the other player's turn, you'll miss opportunities to thwart the enemy, i.e. you'll lose.

Second, FC seems to allow me to play any minis on any scale that I desire. I don't have to observe all the basing and table configurations that every system demands. If the basing is relatively uniform, then you can play. I can play my 15mm Demonworld, 15mm Xyston, 28mm Reaper familiars, and 10mm Warmaster trolls on the same table. And the movement and ranged attack distances are bound to whatever the table size being used... that's brilliant.

Third, I'm hungry and sleepy... a bad combination. I'll resist the urge to get a hot pocket... and resist the urge to continue to blog while tired.

Azeal joins in...

I am Daniel aka “Azeal”.  I have been gaming since 1983, when I first picked up D&D.  I purchased my first copy at a comic book store in downtown Sunnyvale, CA.   I soon moved on to playing Battletech in the comic book store.  This was my start of miniature gaming.   In 1987 I got the Warhammer 40k and Fantasy Battles games.  From that point on I became a chaos player.  To this day I am still a 40k Chaos player.

I took a few years off from gaming in collage, but came back to it after graduating.

In 2000, I picked up Warmaster and was an instant fan.  I think it is one of the best games ever written.  It was also the game that got me hooked on the smaller scales miniatures.

In 2001, I opened a game store in Denver, CO.  Part of my inspiration to open the store was my wonderful experiences in the comic book store.  I thought it was a great store, but because of life changes (kids), I sold it in 2006.  My passion for gaming has never been stronger though.

I have tried many game systems; CAV, Piquet, Flames or War, Warmaster, Warmaster Ancients, Warmachine, DBA, Epic, Battle Fleet Gothic,  Infinity, but have found that my favorite scale to play is 15mm miniatures.

I will leave it at that, there will be more to come.  I have pictures of our last game and will post them soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pardon me, what was I saying?

My apologies for not returning to finish my comments regarding Tactical Assault: Fantasy Cards. He-who-must-not-be-named and I went to my brother's house to watch the Super Bowl. Alas, neither Da Bears (my favorite team), the Chiefs (my favorite AFC team), nor the Broncos (our Denver team... with Tebow, my favorite player since the late, great Walter Payton... ah, Sweetness, we miss you) won this year. I can only say two things positive about the Giants' win... first, at least the Patriots did not win. Secondly, the Giants' victory has thrilled George Martin. Having Mr. Martin in a good mood is always a good thing. Now, I'm not saying he's usually in a bad mood, heck, I don't even know the guy. But mayhaps (mayhaps is a favorite word of the Freys of The Twins), the championship will give him extra inspiration for writing The Winds of Winter.

I've never formally met Mr. Martin, but he did sign two copies of A Dance with Dragons in July. The Tattered Cover, the largest indie book seller in Denver, announced that Mr. Martin would sign all copies of ADWD that they sold. Even though the main store opens at 6:30 am, they decided not to sell any books until 9 am when their suburban stores open. To avoid the rush, I arrived in LoDo (Lower Downtown) at 5 am. I was the first one there... After wandering the store, putting coins in the parking meter, and getting breakfast, I found myself fourth in line at 8 am. I chatted crackpot theories with the other nerds, err, I mean customers. I bought my two copies and hurried off to work. When Mr. Martin showed up a month later, I went back down to LoDo and found the building was under siege. A saleslady asked me for my ticket number and while I fumbled for them I asked her how many people were there... she told me there were over twelve hundred people there for autographs. I set my mind to the fact that I had to go to the end of the line when the saleslady exclaimed, "You have number seven! You're supposed to be at the front of the line.... Follow me!" I felt slightly self conscious as I was led to the actual signing room. The lady did not let me actually get to be number seven, she dropped me off at the door and said, "This is all the further I can take you." So I cut into the line and asked the guy in front of me what his number was.... "112" was the response. Have you ever cut in front of eleven hundred people? It felt great... except for the fact that my Nazarene upbringing kicked in and I felt guilty... but, not guilty enough to go back to the end of the line though.

So I watched the first hundred people approach Mr. Martin. I listened to all the conversations around me...

"Jon's not gonna die. I just know it."

"Loras is sooo sexy. You should dress up like him for Halloween."
"Baby, Loras is gay."
"Why don't you like him?"
"I didn't say I do not like him. I said he's gay."
"What do you mean?"
"Uh, honey... have you actually read the books?"

"Who would win a fight between Arya and Hit Girl?"
"Hit Girl, but only until Arya finishes her training."

"I feel sorry for Joffrey."
"What?!?! I feel sorry for you!"

"My favorite part was when Tyrion shot..."
"Wait! I'm still in A Game of Thrones... La, la, la... I'm not listening... la, la, la..."

And when I got closer to Mr. Martin, I could hear what people were asking him...

"Who's your favorite character?"

"Where can I buy Dornish Peppers?"

"What did you think of the HBO series?"

With over twelve hundred books to sign, poor Mr. Martin could not even take time to look up at his fans. Next time, I'll bring him some gloves to prevent blisters on his fingers.

"How did you dream up the Kingsguard?"

"Are there Unicorns in Valyria?"

"Are you writing more Dunk'nEgg tales?"

"Is Renly really dead?"

Then it was my turn.

"Mr. Martin, may I ask you a personal question?"

"Sure," he responded as he scrawled in my first book.

"Who's your favorite..."

Mr. Martin sighed, "Well, Tyrion is my ..."

" player?"

"What?!?!" As he finished his second autograph, his head whipped up and he studied me for a second. "Current players or all time?"

"All time."

As the store worker shoved a new stack in front of him, he said, "That's easy, Lawrence Taylor." The worker shot me an annoyed look because I was holding up the line.

"Thank you, sir." And as I walked away, George stared at me, and I knew that for a few seconds I'd delivered him from thinking all of his fans fit the stereotype.

I only fit the stereotypical nerd when I feel like it... the problem is that I feel like it more and more.

Holy smokes... I still did not comment on Fantasy Cards. Uh, maybe Azeal or He-who-must-not-be-named will do that.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pilgrim's Progress

First, the pics are not coming out like I want. I need to figure out how to set the size parameters to fit into the blog. Hopefully, even a Luddite can figure out the workings of photo editing on a DIY blog. I'll have more time this week... I think.

Now to the real progress...

Azeal,the third friend (I wish for him to allow him to name himself)' and I have played three games of a new system. The game is called Tactical Assault: Fantasy Cards by Tactical Assault Games. I stumbled upon this system, on the Jan. 14th post, over at Tiny Solitary Soldiers. The blogger (and phenomenal painter of 15mm minis), Spacejacker, mentioned TAG's modern and near future system, Tactical Assault: Combat Cards.

The first thing that must be said about Fantasy Cards is that is fun.

The second thing that must be said is that the name is not exactly inspiring. For sure, the words "Tactical Assault" are great for contemporary or future combat, but I'd like to think of combat between Orcs, Undead, Barbarians, Wolves, and Dwarves as something less precise than "tactical". "Mayhem and Muck" would be more along the lines of what I think of regarding fantasy combat.

You know what? I need to leave to go watch the Super Bowl.... Oops, can I say that? Am I allowed to use such a copyrighted (is that a word?) name or will the No Fun League prosecute me to the fullest extent of the law? Anyway... Go Broncos! Go Tebow!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Night's Watch

The purpose of this post is to see if I can successfully post pics of minis. A friend, who will be joining Azeal and I here, told me to open a Photobucket account to host images. So... I've done that... Now let us see if pictures 15mm minis painted to represent the Night's Watch from A Song of Ice and Fire will appear...



To my delight, Azeal has decided to be a part of this effort. I don't believe that I've ever engaged Azeal in a tabletop battle, but he is the one person most responsible for my entrance into the hobby... I doubt he even knows this. I'd spent hundreds of dollars on minis and rules, yet never played a game until I met Azeal. His friendliness, his spirit, and his laugh got me off the painting couch and into the game. It was Azeal's zeal that infected me.

Fantasy, not sci-fi, is what fires my imagination. I think Azeal is much more of a sci-fi guy... that may explain our lack of battles. Hopefully, we'll play soon.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blog, blog, blog, yada, yada, yada...

I like watching paint dry...on my miniatures. Yet, even more so, I like pushing them around... on the tabletop. I started, like many, with Warhammer Fantasy Battle (5th edition). There are some spectacular and inspiring models for that game, but I got out of WFB six years ago. I've dabbled with some other systems... GW's LOTR, Mordheim, Necromunda, Warmaster... Lobster bisque, yada, yada, yada, I never played them again. I've also dabbled a bit with DBA, Armies of Arcana, Wargods, and two others that escape me, at the moment... and I have quite a bit of experience with Piquet. I started out using 28mm, but I've come to love 15mm for tabletop battles. And now... I guess I'm looking for a better system...

The aspects I desire to find in a fantasy system are 1) to have fun, 2) to have sensible rules (I like my fantasy to be realistic...uh, huh), 3) to have easy to understand rules, 4) to have a game that flows while not getting bogged down in minutiae, 5) to have a system that strongly attempts to replicate command and control issues, 6) to have one rulebook with all the army lists (I detest hidden rules and different codices with secret rules that trump the basic game), 7) to have the ability to create my own themed armies from my imagination, 8) to be able to use whatever miniatures that I deem necessary or plausible, 9) to have a system that does not require me to build the ultimate weapon or character in order to compete, and most importantly... 10) to have a system that gives me real anxiety from decisions that I must make and not from constant dice rolling, secret rules, nonsensical magic or movement rules, or from ridiculously overpowered characters.

That worked out fairly well into ten game features that I'd like to find...

So... This blog is for me and some friends to record our search, our battles, and our painting. We'll be trying a new system on Friday night. We'll see how it goes.